As preparations for the upcoming Premier League season begin in earnest, Newcastle United winger Rolando Aarons is creating a buzz of excitement for the Geordie faithful. The whiz-kid wing man has impressed on the clubs tour of America, scoring twice and providing one assist in the 4-3 defeat to Portland Timbers. A thrillingly incisive left sided attacker, the Magpies starlet dazzled travelling fans with a stunning overhead kick in Portland that evening, showcasing his potential.
Aarons burst on to the scene last season, with an excellent performance in the 3-3 draw against Crystal Palace being the pick of some memorable cameos during the campaign. A spate of niggling injuries took their toll on the player, ruling him out for almost six months. He is now back and better than ever, ready to provide new boss Steve McClaren with further stellar performances as the Magpies look to right the wrongs of last season.
With a European Championship on the horizon, Roy Hodgson surely must have a quiet eye on events in the North East. Though the Three Lions are seemingly well stocked in attacking positions, an out and out left footed winger can never be a bad addition to the squad. Where Aarons managed to sparkle in the grey light of a gloomy season at St. James’ – others would have toiled. An intense amount of pressure is invariably placed on Newcastle United players, especially when things are not going to plan. The young attacker seemed to brush off such pressure and was a breath of fresh air for the North East giants.
A lot can happen in a year, especially in football. Though Rolando may seem to be nowhere near the England set up just yet, he is a regular for the u20 side, scoring in their recent win over China in Toulouse. Another exciting season driving the Toon Army barmy could propel him into Hodgson’s plans for the tournament. England are not blessed with many left footed players, especially one with the potential as the teenage midfielder. Stranger things have happened – think Theo Walcott 2006.
A plethora of players are currently able to line up behind the strikers for the national side at this present moment. However, the likes of Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain and Theo Walcott are injury prone and Andros Townsend continues to frustrate at club level. Options able to operate on the flanks may indeed require reinforcement and Aarons could be just the man.
The Newcastle winger does not seem destined to be yet another flash in the plan. His determination is abundantly clear, rejecting the chance to enjoy a summer holiday during the off season – instead focusing on building up his fitness with an Olympic sprinter. ‘I’m not an established player so I have to keep working harder than everyone else’ he told the Shield Gazette, ‘this season, if I get a run of games I’ll show what I can do.’ This is exactly the sort of attitude any England hopeful should be adopting, one that will stand him in good stead when it comes to national selection.
Rollin’ Rolando Aarons can dare to dream about a place on the plane to France next summer. He has shown he can deal with pressure, thrilling 50,000 angry Geordies is no mean feat. His talent, though in glimpses so far, radiates out of his feet – it is now up to him to impress Mr Hodgson.